March 2012

Going Home

Ruben circulated an e-mail about the Phillies roster that would be going north Sunday for the On-Deck Series with the Pirates on Monday and Tuesday nights.   He pointed out it is subject to change.

Worley, Stutes and Contreras are staying in Clearwater to pitch in minor league camp games.  Stutes has come down with tender shoulder deemed nothing serious.

The final flight manifest for Sunday’s Delta charter won’t be determined until the next couple of days.  There’s a game against the Yankees tonight in Tampa (MLB Network), the last Bright House Field game of the spring Saturday afternoon (Blue Jays) and Sunday’s Florida finale in Orlando (Braves).  Hopefully no more injuries.  Then, always the possibility of acquiring a new player.

We do know extra players, most likely a few from the Lehigh Valley roster, will be heading for the On-Deck Series.

Two busses will leave Clearwater at 8 Sunday morning.  Another bus for wives and office staff, will depart at 1 p.m.

Not only are the Phillies leaving town on Sunday, but so are the top three minor league clubs.  Lehigh Valley and Reading are flying.  Clearwater’s roster has the shortest trip, a walk from the Carpenter Complex clubhouse to the clubhouse at Bright House Field.  Lakewood opens in Greensboro so Mickey Morandini’s BlueClaws club will be staying until Wednesday.

All teams, Phillies through Lakewood, start their respective seasons on Thursday.  Get this, Reading is opening with a doubleheader at home.  Phillies open in Pittsburgh (more about openers next week) and have their home opener on April 9 against the new-look Marlins.

MLB Network

Series of 30 clubs in 30 days continues with the Phillies airing tonight at 11 a.m. and again on Saturday at 12 noon.

Opening Day Memories
Terry Francona (MGR, 1997-2000)
“While with the Reds, hitting a home run in 1987 off Floyd Youmans of the Expos, my former team.”

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More Player Movements

Back room of the Phillies clubhouse was empty and now it is filling up with luggage, etc., for the return trip north.  Clubhouse crew will be loading a rig on Friday morning.  Friday’s a night game in Tampa against the Yankees.

Saturday’s the last Bright House Field game of the spring.  Florida spring training ends on Sunday at Orlando (Braves). Time flew by this year.

For today’s game with the Rays, five minor leaguers walked from the Complex: INF Miguel Abreu, C John Suomi, Ps Gabreil Arias, Garrett Claypool and B. J. Rosenberg.

Back Home
Monday and Tuesday nights are the On-Deck Series at Citizens Bank Park.  The Pirates will be in town.

Then, both teams (separate airplanes) will head for Pittsburgh and start of the regular season at PNC Park, 1:35 p.m., April 5.

Player Movements
**C Erik Kratz was optioned to Lehigh Valley this morning and INF Tim Kennelly was returned to the Complex.

**Minor leagues released on Wednesday: Cs Nolan Clark, Cody Fick, Chabriel Pizarro; OF Luis Amaro; Ps Eric Pettis and Matt Way.

Opening Day Memories
Jim Eisenreich (OF, 1993-96)
“My first opening day was 1982 with the Twins in the first regular season game ever played in the Metrodome.  Some 30-plus family member and friends were there.  I grew up an hour north of Minneapolis so it was a very special day in many ways, even though I was hitless in three at-bats.”

More Alumni memories can be found at

New features on the Alumni page include an obit on Dennis Bennett and Phillies Phlashback.

Prayers go out to Pete Mackanin, whose mother passed away and Shane Victorino, wh lost his grandfather.

Phase Three

Back home Thursday to face the Rays on national TV, ESPN and MLB Network.
Thursday’s also the day for players and staff to bring personal luggage, bikes, strollers and golf clubs for the equipment truck that gets packed Friday morning for the ride north.  Phillies have a night game in Tampa on Friday against the Yankees.

Friday is also the day players and staff automobiles are loaded on transports. The team leaves for Philly after Sunday’s game in Orlando.

In other words, Phase Three of every spring (let’s get the regular season started) is rapidly approaching.

Minor leaguers on the 7:45 a.m. bus today (Twins, Ft. Myers) include infielders Miguel Abreu and Albert Cartwright, catcher Jeff Lanning, pitchers Frank Gailey, Justin Friend, Tyler Knigge and Juan Sosa.  Minor league camp also ends on Sunday. 

Spring Training Memories
Chase Utley
“I signed in 2000 and went right to Batavia.  So my first spring camp was the following  year and I was invited to the major league camp which was at Jack Russell Stadium.  My number was 80. A bunch of lockers were in the middle of the room and that’s where I was, along with the other rookies.  Stayed at the Econo Lodge but didn’t have a roommate.  When I walked in the clubhouse there were so many of the players I had watched on TV 4-5 months ago.  It was a very cool experience. My stay in the big league camp wasn’t that long. I was among those in the first cut.”

Opening Day Memories
Larry Christenson (RHP, 1973-83)
“April 6, 1973, at Shea Stadium in New York, Steve Carlton vs. Tom Seaver.  I was 19 years old and the youngest player in the majors.  Willie Mays was in the Mets dugout as a player and at the end of a great career.   Seaver struck out 8 and beat Carlton in a very close game.  I was on the front step as close to home plate as possible and remember the explosive fastballs from each of them on a cool dark night lit by the lights at Shea.  I was scheduled to pitch in game 2 against Koosman on Saturday night but got rained out. They held me back until a game against the Mets, Friday, April 13.  I won my debut, pitching a complete game.”

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Early Bus Tomorrow

Home game today (Pirates), 7:45 a.m. bus Wednesday for a game in Ft. Myers (Twins).  MLB Network is televising today and next two games nationally.

Pitchers Jacob Diekman, Scott Elarton and Brian Sanches made the walk to next door Carpenter Complex this morning.  37 players remain.  Jose Contreras will pitch at the complex tomorrow afternoon in a Class A game against the Pirates.

While stats in spring training don’t mean that much, it is interesting to note that Phillies pitchers lead the NL teams in strikeouts (202) and fewest walks (57).  Hitters have the fewest strikeouts (136) and are fourth in hits (242).

Attendance (125,737) leads all Florida teams.

Alumni Notes
Happy Birthday today to RHP Dick Ruthven, 61 . . . Belated birthday wishes (March 23) to INF Lou Lucier, who turned 94.  Lou had two seasons in the big leagues, both with the Phillies (1944-45). 

Opening Day Memories
Steve Carlton (LHP, 1972-86)
“Losing to Tom Seaver at Shea Stadium in a game that took 1 hour, 48 minutes.”

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Seven More Florida Games

Seven more games in Florida, including four at Bright House Field.  ESPN and the Red Sox today.

Phillies have 40 players still in camp.  Need to get to 25 by April 4, the day before their season opener in Pittsburgh.  More than 25 will go north because of the two-game On-Deck Series with the Pirates that starts a week from today.

Minor leaguers in uniform today include pitchers Hector Neris, Lisalverto Bonilla, Tyson Brummett and Ryan Duke and 3B Maikel Franco.

Did You Know?
Rookie Freddy Galvis leads the Phillies this spring in hits (16), total bases (28) and RBI (12).

Spring Awards
Prior to today’s game three annual awards were presented:

**John Vukovich Award (loyalty, dedication, competitiveness, knowledge, honesty and terrific work ethic):  Carlos Arroyo, currently the Phillies rehab pitching coach.  Carlos has been in the Phillies minor league system beginning in 1975 serving as pitching coach at different levels.  In addition, he coordinates the pitching in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela academies.  Arroyo will also receive the award from a Vukovich family member on Toyota Alumni Night at Citizens Bank Park, August 11.

**Bill Giles Award (love and respect for the game, outstanding work ethic, pride in bein a member of the Phillies organization): INF-OF Tim Kennelly.

**Larry Rojas Award (same attributes as Giles but presented to a Hispanic player): 3B Franco.

Eleven minor league players were sent home on Sunday:

Pitchers Paul Cusick, Rye Davis, Ian Durham, Juary Gomez, Chase Johnson, Jack Van Leur, Robert Cooper and Fabian Cota; outfielder Luis Unda and infielders Geancrlo Mendez and Mike Marshall.

To the family of Dennis Bennett, former Phillies left-handed pitcher, who died on Saturday in Klamath Falls, OR.  He was 72.

Bennett pitched in the majors for seven seasons, the first three years with the Phillies (1962-64).   He was 30-28, 3.48 ERA with the Phillies, including 12-14 in 1964.  Dennis also pitched for the Red Sox, Mets and Angels.

Opening Day Memories
Marty Bystrom (RHP, 1980-84)
“Seeing “Irish” Mike Ryan catch a ball dropped from a helicopter.  Still don’t know how he did it.”

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End Is Near

Frank Coppenbarger sent an e-mail yesterday letting everyone know the equipment truck will be leaving for Philadelphia next Friday (30th).  Two days later, the team heads north for the regular season.

For some minor leaguers, the end is sooner. Normally, minor league games are played at 1 p.m. at Carpenter Complex but on Saturday, the games will begin at 10 in the morning.

Then, Joe Jordan (Director, Player Development) and the development staff will gather in the second-level conference room.  With a week to go, rosters need to be set for the Phillies top four clubs, Lehigh Valley, Reading, Clearwater and Lakewood.  100 players will be needed for those rosters.  Another 50 will remain at Carpenter Complex for extended spring training.  Others will be placed on the disabled list and remain in Florida for rehab.

Somewhere between 15 and 20 minor league players will be let go.  That’ll take place early Sunday morning.  More cuts could come a week from today.

Most of the bad news will be delivered by Jordan, with Mike Compton (position players), Gorman Heimueller (pitchers) and Carlos Arroyo or Roly deArmas (Hispanic players), joining the one-on-one meetings.

Benny Looper, Assistant GM, Player Development, has been there, done that when he was Director of Player Development for the Mariners.  “It is the worst part of the job.  It was tough sleeping the night before.  All the kids have dreams of playing in the majors and you are telling them those dreams won’t happen.”

From his experience, some break down and cry, some get angry and others are speechless.  Some will catch on with independent league teams.  Perhaps a few will sign with another organization although the other 29 clubs are facing the same situation.  Most will return home and face a career change. The Phillies provide transportation to the Tampa airport and air fare for the long trip home.  Lee McDaniel, Director Minor League Operations, handles those duties.

Around Camp
**Home today, 7:45 a.m. bus Saturday for Ft. Myers (Red Sox), split squad on Sunday (at Lakeland, Tigers) and home (Orioles).

**Domonic Brown was optioned to Lehigh Valley this morning.  Phillies minor league INF Tim Kennelly has been added to the major league camp as a non-roster player, wearing #68.  Phillies have 40 players in camp.

**Shortstops Miguel Abreu and Troy Hanzawa are in uniform for today’s game.

**Monday, another Bright House Field sellout (Red Sox).  ESPN will televise.

Opening Day Memories
Larry Bowa (SS, 1970-81; CH, 1988-96; MGR, 2001-04)
“Getting my first hit off Ken Holtzman, something I will never forget.”

More Alumni memories can be found at



Dunedin Today

It is listed as a road game but with Dunedin’s Florida Auto Exchange Stadium being only three miles away, the pre-game route is the same as a home game.

Position players took BP at Bright House with the others at Ashburn Field.  Busses left at 11:30 a.m.  Minor Leaguers on the trip include OF Brent Clevlen, OF Derrick Mitchell, INF Miguel Abreu and C John Suomi.

Kyle Kendrick will pitch in a minor league game at Carpenter Complex in the afternoon.
Class A teams are hosting the Yankees, while the AAA and AA teams are in Tampa against the Yankees.

Big League Yankees come to Clearwater on Friday which means the eighth straight Bright House Field sellout.

Around Camp
**After BP, Thome spent time fielding ground balls on the half field from Perlozzo and Sandberg and Howard followed fielding grounders while sitting on a stool.

**Pence is doing a video shoot for EA Sports on Friday.

**Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will have its annual spring training meeting with the Phillies at 9 a.m. on Friday.

**Mike Missanelli’s 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. show on 97.5 The Fanatic is live from Bright House Field today and Friday.

Where Are They Now?
Paul Hagen’s piece on Doug Glanville is currently at

Vintage photos and features are posted on this section.  Alumni News & Notes is another present feature.

Coming soon, Alumni memories of opening day.

Spring Training Memories
Kyle Kendrick
“First spring training was 2004 and like all minor leaguers, I stayed at the Econ-O-Lodge.  My roomie was Matt Linder and my uniform number was 88.  What do I remember about that first day?  Nervous, excited, lost and in awe.”

Who’s on first?

Sarasota today, no game tomorrow and Dunedin on Thursday.  Bus left at 9 a.m. today for the 56-mile trip south to play the Orioles.

Abbott & Costello had a comedy routine a few moons ago—make that decades—“Who’s on first?”  Well, with two weeks left in spring training, that question still applies to the Phillies.  With Utley sidelined, Galvis looks like he’ll be “Who’s on second?”  Then, still to be determined, “Who’s in left?”  The three answers could be Mayberry, Galvis, Mayberry but no team has ever had one player play two different positions at the same time.  Really, that’s a fact.

Tomorrow is a day off.  Players needing medical treatment have between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. to get that done in the training room at Bright House Field.

Two games will be played at 1 in the afternoon at Carpenter Complex, AAA and AA Yankees against the Phillies AAA and AA rosters.  Remember, those games are free.

Around Camp
**Camp number was reduced to 41 with Phillippe Aumont, Michael Schwimer, Jeremy Horst and David Purcey sent to the Complex early this morning.

**Joe Blanton is pitching in one of the Complex games today..

**Minor leaguers Jay Johnson (49), Jordan Whatcott (37), Tyson Brummett (38) and Miguel Abreu (11) are on the Sarasota trip today.  Abreu is an infielder, the other three pitchers.

**Monday’s crowd of 10, 853 is the third largest in Bright House Field history.

**Second group of Phillies sponsors arrives on Thursday for the weekend.

**Mike Missanelli, 97.5 The Fanatic, will broadcast live from the Diamond Dugout Thursday and Friday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Spring Training Memories
Charlie Manuel

“1964 with the Twins minor league camp which was then in Fernando Beach, FL.  Told to report to Jack McKeon (one of the managers) at a hotel.  Don’t remember the name of the hotel. Jack said to check in at the front desk for a room.  Told him I was married.  He said, then check out realtors.  Wound up with a two-bedroom apartment on the beach.  I remember my first uniform number was 9.  There were a lot of minor leaguers there, something like 190.  I was just a kid and fit in with the rest of the young kids with talent, only I knew I could hit.”

For Alumni spring training memories, check out

Being Wednesday is a day off, that means a day off for Phillies Insider. 


Two Weeks Left in ST

This week (today through Sunday) includes three home games, four road games (including the final split squad date) and a day off on Wednesday.

ESPN is televising today’s game with their “A” team: Dan Schulman, Orel Hershiser, Terry Francona and Buster Olney.  ESPN will be back two more times, March 26 (Red Sox) and March 29 (Rays).  Terrific national exposure for Bright House Field.

Today’s game is also on The Comcast Network and

Red Turned Green
Phillies red normally dominates the Bright House Field scene during spring training games.  During Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day game, about half of the fans wore green.  Phillies donned green jerseys and caps.  Many of the jerseys will be used at charity events for Phillies Charities, Inc.

Of course, the person or thing with the brightest green that day was Phillie Phanatic.

Minor League Cuts
Staff had a meeting following Saturday’s games in which nine players were released:
pitchers Ryan Feierabend, Kasey Kiker, John Mariotti, Jesus Pirela, Casey Barnes and Lionel Bastida; infielder Alan Schoenberger and outfielder Brian Gump.

More cuts are expected following this week.  Final minor league games at Carpenter Complex are March 31.

Around Camp
**Tuesday, the Phillies bus to Sarasota (9 a.m.) for an afternoon game against the Orioles.

**Two Class A minor league teams will be playing at Carpenter Complex against the Tigers on Tuesday afternoon.  There’s no admission charge.  It is also possible a big league player or two will be in one of those games.

**Phillies Latin scouting staff will arrive Tuesday and spend the week at the minor league camp.

**Phillies radio broadcasts on Tuesday and Thursday (at Blue Jays) will feature Brian Seltzer, Reading Phillies broadcaster, and Larry Andersen.

Spring Training Memories
Bob Miller (RHP, 1949-58)
“My first spring training was 1950 in Clearwater, Athletic Field. Number 19 was hanging there for me. What a thrill it was to put on the Phillies uniform for the first time in spring training. My roommate was Curt Simmons, I believe. I remember coming out of the clubhouse for the first time and there must have been a thousand people cheering us. I loved spring training. It was a chance to get out of the cold weather in Michigan and go to a beautiful place like Clearwater. It was always great to see the guys again. I just loved being a big league player and being a Phillie. There was nothing to dislike about spring training.”

More Alumni spring training memories can be found at

Wearing Green

Start of another weekend in Clearwater.  Phillies in Bradenton Friday to face the Pirates, home Saturday with the Blue Jays and in Dunedin on Sunday to meet the Jays again.

TV schedule: Saturday, the Comcast Network and MLB.TV; Monday (Tigers at Bright House Field), TCN, ESPN and MLB.TV.

Saturday morning, MLB Security Department will speak with the minor league players at 7:30 and the big league club an hour later.  Monday morning, the players association will meet with the big leaguers at 8:30 a.m.  Generally, that meeting lasts long enough to wipe out batting practice.

Two minor leaguers are with the Phillies in Bradenton on Friday, OF Brent Clevlen (6) and INF Miguel Abreu (11).

St. Patrick’s Day
Phillies will wear green jerseys and hats on Saturday, a tradition that was started by Tug McGraw after he joined the Phillies in the mid 1970s.

But, thanks to Bob Warrington, a baseball historian and memorabilia collector, the Phillies actually wore green for the first time in 1899.  Bob sent a microfilm copy of an article that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on March 17, 1899.  Notice the different style of writing.

“CHARLOTTE, NC—In fitting commemoration of the day, the Phillies burst upon the startled natives this morning in their new sweaters trimmed with green. The collar is of a hue the like of which has never been seen this side of Ireland, and then, to accentuate it, there is a band of green running all the way round.  Altogether white and emerald make a striking combination.

“The boys gave two performances to-day.  All hands had breakfasted by 8 o’clock and at 9:30 they were on their way to the ground.  There their usual routine play was gone through, with batting to the fielders, the batteries warming up, and the infielders practicing on prospective double plays.

“The regulars, who did so much work yesterday were naturally sore to-day, but none of them appeared to mind that, knowing that in two or three days more of the present weather their aches and pains will have practically disappeared.”

Spring Training Memories
Tim McCarver (C, 1970-72; 1975-80)
“Let’s see, had to be 1960 in St. Petersburg in the Cardinals minor league camp. I don’t remember my uniform number other than it was under three digits. Some weren’t. My roomie was Geoff Long, a pitcher who later became a first baseman.

“I remember that in 1963 I was in the big league camp and I was awful. I was pressing. Heck, I missed catching some pitches by six inches. There was stress early in my career not knowing where I would be playing that season. It seemed like you were always trying to impress someone. As an older major leaguer, there was less pressure and you kind of developed a confident work ethic.

“What didn’t I like? Catching. (Laughter.) It was my job but all the catching in spring training got old. Then there was the small talk the first couple of days every spring. I remember in 1971 or 1972 or whenever, I came to Clearwater and passed out business cards: ‘I drove down’; ‘My weight is fine’; ‘I’m staying on the beach’; ‘The family is fine’; “I had a nice winter.’” (Laughter)

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